COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Capcom Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen PS3

Updated: 04/30/2013 9:14 AM By: Aaron Chalich

Last week Capcom released “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” and I got the opportunity to play a review copy of the game and it is amazing.

“Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” is an expansion to “Dragon’s Dogma” that was released in 2012. There are a bunch of new features that include:

One really cool thing is that if you have never played “Dragon’s Dogma” you can play the full story with all of the new features added in. If you have played “Dragon’s Dogma,” you can upload your previous save file and use the character from the game. You then can just go to the new areas that you have never explored before. You will have all of your skills and you can continue your adventure.

I never got the chance to play “Dragon’s Dogma” so this was a great way for me to play it and I was blown away.

“Dragons Dogma” is an epic role playing game (RPG) and your character is a knight. You start out right away fighting a Chimera with a group of other knights. You defeat the Chimera and some time passes. You eventually go to a fishing village where a dragon is starting to destroy the village.

You try to stop the dragon, but instead the dragon takes your heart and puts a magic spell on you.  You are now the “Arisen” and you must go on an epic journey to try and find the dragon that took your heart. After you find the dragon you must kill it to break the spell.
I really liked the story and thought that it was very well written. It was exciting and full of action and dramatic scenes.

I felt that the story was unique and it made me want to keep playing the game, because I wanted to see how the story was going to unfold.

The graphics are amazing and everything looks wonderful. The characters look lifelike and the monsters you fight are very detailed. The scenery is also very detailed and beautifully done.

There are so many different monsters and they all look unique. The bosses are huge and are very well done. They are complex and very challenging to beat. The enemies also have their own unique ways to attack and that makes playing the game challenging, because you have to figure out what kind of attack you need to use against them.

As you start the game you can choose which type of character you want to play as. You can choose to be a fighter, mage, warrior, mystic knight, strider, magic archer, assassin, or sorcerer. Then you get to choose if you want to be a male or female and then you can customize the character. You can choose if you want a beard or mustache, type of clothes, scars, etc…

After you create your character then you can get right into the game.

I felt that the controls for “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” were very easy to learn and everyone should be able to pick them up and play right away. At the beginning of the game you can choose to look at the instruction manual. 

Then while you are playing the game, there is a menu at the bottom right of the screen that shows you the layout of the buttons that you can push to do things and the commands are by the buttons you need to push to do what you want. For instance to talk to someone you need to push the “O” button.

As you walk by someone the words “Speak” will appear by the button on the screen so you know that by pressing “O” you will talk to the person. I thought that this was very helpful because there is a lot going on in the game and it was nice to just look quickly at the little menu to see what button I needed to push to do something.

There is also an in-game tutorial that will also explain everything to you. As you come to a new area or need to do a new task a little menu will pop up explaining what you need to do  and why you need to do it. At any point in the game you can pause and look at all of this information again to refresh your memory. I thought this was also very helpful because there are so many things to remember and this was a nice feature.

As you play you will gain experience points and as you gain a certain amount, your character will get stronger and will learn new skills that will help you in your adventure. You can buy different skills for your character and you get to choose which skills would be best for your character.

There are many different items money, weapons and armor to find. You can also find different materials that you can use to make your weapons stronger. You can go into a menu to see how much damage each weapon will do and how much your armor will protect your character.

I really enjoyed how you fight in “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen.” You attack by pushing the square or triangle buttons. You can move around and attack and I really liked that a lot. You can also use your shield to block and to attack with it as well.

Fighting the bosses is absolutely unbelievable, because they are so huge and they take a long time to beat. When you encounter a boss you can see how much health they have by a meter at the top of the screen. This was nice because you could see what attacks were working and which ones were not. One cool feature is that you can grab onto the bosses and climb up onto them.

Once you are on them you can attack, but they can throw you off.

Another neat thing that I really liked about “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” is that there are things in the game called rifts. There are stones all over in the game that you can explore and they will take you to another realm where you can choose to have a “pawn” help you in your quest. 

You can choose up to three pawns and they all have different skills and abilities to help you though the game. In my experience playing the game, I found it very helpful to have a mixture of characters in your party. It was nice to have a mage so they can cast magic spells and heal you, plus someone that can shoot arrows from a distance helped out a lot in battles.


You can also customize a pawn and you can share them online, so other players can view them and actually use them if they want.

One last thing that I want to mention is the quests. There are tons of quests that you can go on. There are main quests that you must do to complete the game and there are also tons of side quests that you can do to gain money, equipment, etc…  

You can talk to people and they will ask you to do things for them and in return they will give you an item or new weapon, plus there is a board in some of the towns that you visit that will have quests posted on them. You can do as many quests as you want and you can see all of the quests that you have agreed to do by going to a menu. 

You can choose which quest you want to make a priority and it will show you on your map where you need to go. I really liked the quests a lot and felt that it really added a lot to “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen.”

I really enjoyed Capcom’s “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” a lot. The story and graphics were amazing. The controls were very easy to learn and anyone can pick up the game and play it. The game is very complex and challenging.  

“Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” is rated "M" for blood and gore, partial nudity, suggestive themes, and violence. This game is not for kids, but adults will really enjoy it. “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen” will have new and veteran players entertained for many hours. 

Video is courtesy of Capcom.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for blogging about the latest entertainment news.